County Commissioners Sound Off on Teacher Surplus

County Commissioners Sound Off on Teacher Surplus

Nearly 600 Memphis and Shelby County teachers are about to be unemployed, and school officials say that's 600 teachers too many.
MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Nearly 600 Memphis and Shelby County teachers are about to be unemployed, and school officials say that's 600 teachers too many.

Shelby County Commissioner Terry Roland says it angers him that county teachers are possibly getting fired, while another group of teachers who live outside of Shelby County will probably keep their jobs.

"Some of the people on this commission voted for people to keep their jobs that live outside of the county… and you're going to fire teachers that live in the county," he said.

School officials say enrollment has been dropping. Every year they figure out if there are too many teachers.

They are also predicting there will be at least 1,000 and maybe as many as 1,500 teachers retiring or quitting this year, which means the 600 surplus teachers have a good chance at getting those jobs.

But they're not the only ones who might be hurting.

Commission Chairman Mike Ritz noted, "You have employees who are bus drivers in the county who are not going to be there any more. You have employees in the city who maintain schools - they're being let go. And of course a bunch of teachers, principals, there's two to three hundred people in the administration."

Many board members weren't in Memphis, as they are in San Diego for the National Association of School Boards convention - which has also been a source of controversy. They will further discuss the teacher surplus when they return.

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